This delicious Chicken Stew is a great alternative to Beef Stew. It goes a long way and is perfect for church potlucks or family get togethers. You can really add all of your favorite ingredients to it as well, personalizing the taste to your family.
Serve this stew up into pretty serving bowls with good crusty bread and a small dinner salad on the side. It’s really yummy.
Hearty Chicken Stew
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into bite size pieces
1 carrot peeled, cut into bite size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-1/2 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14 oz.) can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 Tblsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1-1/2 lbs. total)
1 (15 oz.) can of organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
Optionals: I tend to go crazy here. I sometimes use chopped tomatos with jalapeno or chopped tomatos with sweet onions and garlic to give it a kick. I also used both kidney beans and a can of garbanzo beans (chick peas), draining and rinsing both. And sometimes, I throw in some fresh mushrooms. When I do all of this, it is a HEARTY stew!
Heat the oil in a heavy 5-1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
Bring the cooking liquid to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occassionally, about 25 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into stew consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the skin and bones from the chicken. Shred or cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.